Argentina’s government has unveiled a bill to promote investment in oil and gas in the country with the ultimate goal to boost hydrocarbon production from its key shale play and export potential surplus output.
On Wednesday, the government sent the bill to incentivize investments in oil and gas to Congress for approval.
The bill will boost the production capacity of oil and gas the country needs and will allow us to export the rest, center-left Argentinian President Alberto Fernández tweeted on Wednesday.
“It is time to take advantage of our energy potential and thus become more independent,” Fernández said.
Argentina is betting big on boosting oil and gas production at its largest shale play, Vaca Muerta in the Neuquen province. Vaca Muerta—Spanish for ‘dead cow’—has been dubbed the Argentinian Permian, although its geologic properties have been compared more appropriately to the Eagle Ford.
Vaca Muerta is recovering from the pandemic slump and is estimated to hold recoverable resources consisting of 16 billion barrels of oil and 308 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
Those numbers make the Vaca Muerta the world’s second-largest shale gas deposit.
Argentina is now looking to further incentivize production in Vaca Muerta and elsewhere, including with incentives, approvals of oil and gas exports, and easier access to foreign exchange markets. This access is currently constrained by capital controls in the country.
“The ambition is for Argentina to produce in excess and export the surplus to bring in dollars,” Fernández said at a ceremony to unveil the legislation, as carried by Reuters.
“We have enormous potential and we cannot waste it,” the president added.
Argentina’s plan to incentivize more investment includes proposals for stability in terms of fiscal matters over the next 20 years to lure back investors by giving them certainty over the financial aspects of their investment and involvement, according to Fernández.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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